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PM Lee to Singaporeans: We need to remain OPEN and WELCOMING to foreigners

Posted by temasektimes on June 9, 2012

Despite rising public unhappiness and disgruntlement at the relentless influx of foreigners, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong continues to insist that Singapore must remain OPEN and WELCOMING to them.

Speaking at the Economic Society of Singapore’s annual dinner on Friday evening, PM Lee said there is no country in the world where the population gets smaller and incomes rise at the same time which mandates that Singapore have a continued inflow of ‘talent’ for continued ‘growth’.

“We need to maintain that spirit of being exciting, of being welcoming, of being open and adventurous… at a time when there are constraints to our size… when our population is growing gradually less young and therefore perhaps less adventurous… that’s the challenge,” he added.

PM Lee also cautioned that the Singapore government must strike a balance between raising social spending and taxes.

“As we enhance our social safety nets, expenditure will inexorably rise, and revenue must keep up. Surely within the next 20 years, the government of the day will need new sources of revenue, which means raising taxes,” he said.


20 Responses to “PM Lee to Singaporeans: We need to remain OPEN and WELCOMING to foreigners”

  1. Regime Change said

    This guy still doesn’t get it. The problems in Singapore today are not economic, but social.

  2. P Koh said

    I can only say that it is better to have a country that ‘grows’ smaller but are of quality materials than one that grows with imported rubbish who come in to enjoy the wealth that have been built by our forefathers and then telling us off as ‘lazy’ while snatching
    away the rice bowls of those true blue citizens who are really in need. If we want talents then why restrict those who can study with fewer Univeristy places and let open an influx of foreign students thereby forcing many of our own children to go away for higher education and never to return when they discover the disparity of comfortable living between ours and the countries in which they were being educated at high financial costs. A loss of local talents with outflow of wealth. The government only looks at the goals but forgot that the journey is more important than the goals. The journey is one that will bring insight, stability and growth to our beloved country not the goals per se. Reshaping the way and changing the mindset of how to govern the country will address much of the problems on unhappiness and when the going is tenable not just easy, population growth will be a natural consequence. Get thinkers into government not blinkers.

  3. SgGuy said

    Yes, we understand the principle, but over the years, this policy has been overdone n now the whole country is addicted to CHEAP LABOUR. If cheap labour benefit the majority, most of us will be happy. However, the cheap labour has caused us lots of suffering to our lives, livelihood, jobs, space and culture, so we are now VERY VERY unhappy. If you open ur eyes n ears, you would have sense the slow boiling but you chose not to. Now things have finally boiled over n I shall now ask you “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?”
    Take action, instead of hiding in ur ivory towers and keep asking us to welcome the undesired!

  4. cc chia said

    Walau, this pinky keeps on going about his FT pets like a broken record!!

    Perhaps he should look at the root cause of the problem why our population is shrinking in the first place; not helped by his dads failed policy of “stop at 2” in the past? Please do something about encouraging more Singaporeans to have more babies, and put in place more policies to stem the tide of locals migrating overseas
    (I believe at least 20,000 every year).

    Taking the short sighted and easy way out by importing foreigners unchecked is not going to solve the problem that was created by the PAP in the first place. We don’t want our country populated by foreigners who are criminals and the riff-raff and country bumpkins from the rest of Asia. Also, getting in more prostitutes and study-mamas who end up seducing and running away with the money of our lonely old men is not a solution either.

  5. Ron said

    I support the need for foreign workers and expats. I will not call everyone a Foreign Talent. That is a much abused term.

    However, there need to be strict monitoring on who these FTs hire once they are in a position of responsibility. There are too many stories of how certain FTs (and it seems to apply to a particular country) that they begin to get rid of long-time Singaporean employees and replace with more nationals from his own country.

    That is not the intent of the FT policy. There should be an ombudsman that Singaporeans can complain too and seek redress. This will put the top employers on guard that they may have to re-instate the fired employee and if there is retribution later, the same employee can seek State help. Obviously, each case has to be investigated by a non-partisan manpower committee. It is like seeking arbitration.

    And certain catgeories have to be scrutinized and be restricted to Singaporeans. It may mean interefering with the management of certain companies but the FT policy is also an interference too in that it helps the companies. So, it has to come with obligations to make sure that Singaporeans are not disadvantaged.

    This is not an issue that be ignored as I think 2016 is when the populaton will decide whether Hougang was not a national referendum.

  6. bye sg hello oz said

    60.1% accepted his apology, shared his views and supported his policies in GE2011, he can do whatever he like now till 2016.
    If he and his party cannot be voted out, those who still can or able, better get out from S’pore.
    Yes, I will be getting out of S’pore very soon after getting my Aust PR after GE2011 but I will be back to do my part as a native citizen to cast my vote wisely in GE2016.

  7. Annoymous said

    To the PAP supporters, open your eyes BIG, see the diff BEFORE and AFTER the GE?


  9. voice fron the origin singapore said

    Welcome them for what,they insult US,hit us,kill our fellow citizen

  10. Tony said

    This shows again that PAP and LHL are clueless how to take Singapore to the next stage as a 1st World country without resorting to cheap foreign labour.

    The PAP is a spent force and from the many malfunctions show it has become incompetent.

    Time to throw out the incompetent and useless PAP.

  11. me said

    Usual doomsday scenario threat

  12. Rich Prc said

    no thanks

  13. jobless local said

    the leaders force locals to do 2 years of brain damaging NS but let in FT freely.

    what a hopeless lot they are. They should resign before sending the whole country over the abyss of hell.

  14. Dondon said

    The man is out of touch with people! He is staying in his ivory tower enjoying his high living while the people have to sweat in crowded buses, fighting for jobs, earning low wages and suffering high costs of living. Time to vote him out! Daft daft daft

  15. Janet Yong said

    Can we not groom out own Singaporeans instead of giving the jobs to foreigners? So many Singaporeans with degrees and even PHD have to drive taxis. So many Singaporeans who returned from overseas education with degrees are not given a chance to work in the government office eg. in education. So many Singaporean professionals are out of jobs by the the time they reach 40s. So many old Singaporeans have to pick up cans from trash, clean and clear at hawkers stalls. Why? Is it because most of the jobs are given to foreigners? Are Singaporeans taken for granted? Singaporeans are now fading away to make way for foreigners.

  16. Dogmeat said

    No thanks. First world civilisation do not need help from third world worms.

  17. Dogmeat said

    Singapore needs to move pass depending on foreign cheap labour as a driver of growth. The land is scarce, so is the resources, if these little are not shared by the locals, what else is left? Singaporeans are ready to live out and accept the consequences of our own decisions – having fewer kids, wanting less foreigners, and better pay(higher prices) for basic services. Quality of life is more important than GDP.

  18. TK said

    Economic growth is the official reason for welcome foreigners. Did you notice that our government seems to be losing local votes by virtue of their immigration policies? If they need to win during GE2016, where can they find the “support” during GE2016? Possible solution – Import foreigners, converting them into citizens to dilute opposition votes. They have 4 years to increase the proportion of foreigners-turned-citizens population vs local Singaporeans to a comfortable level that they can remain in power…

  19. Wolfglare said

    Fuck you u want us to open and welcoming foreigner…..if u like FT so much….pls open your leg and welcome these FT to screw your ass….we don’t want them here since u PAP government wouldn’t listen to the people….than come 2016 we will just hv to vote u out….it’s unavoidable

  20. Daft Peasants said

    pls open our legs wide and welcome the ft to screw us hard hard……more ft…….more pls……pls let 5 million to come in per year…..pls let daft sinkies become maids and slaves to ft…….

    Ha ha ha ha ha………………….

    SEE YOU IN GE 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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